Martinsville, Va. (October 29, 2012) – Carl Edwards has never been a big fan of Martinsville Speedway, but he was on pace to get a top-10 finish on Sunday until a late-race spin left him at the tail end of the lead lap cars with five laps to go. With only a few laps remaining, Edwards was only able to gain one spot to finish 18th.
Edwards started 23rd in the No. 99 Geek Squad/West Coast Customs Ford and moved up through the field. He broke into the top 10 after a restart on lap 155 and was able to run with the top-10 cars despite being tight through the center most of the race.
By halfway Edwards was eighth, and with 100 laps to go he was in 12th place. The final pit strategies played out when a caution came with 25 laps to go. Edwards pitted for four tires while one driver stayed out and several pitted for just right-side tires. This had the potential for a great shoot-out to the finish with 20 laps to go.
Edwards lined up 15th for the restart and had moved up to 12th with 12 laps to go. With a top-10 finish in his sight, he was hit from behind by Sam Hornish which caused him to spin and collect Dale Earnhardt Jr. He came to pit road for new tires but was forced to restart at the tail of the lead-lap cars in 19th. With only five laps remaining when the green flag flew, he was only able to work his way up to 18th in the final laps.
Jimmie Johnson won the race followed by Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer. Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, Bobby Labonte and Greg Biffle rounded out the top 10.
“I’m not going to worry about the end too much,” Edwards said. “We just got wrecked, but the race was fun. I had more fun than I’ve had here in a long time and I credit our guys because they’ve worked very hard. We still have a long ways to go, but that was more fun than normal, and I think all the Geek Squad folks had a good time and for about 400 laps I had a really good time. I think we had the car balanced pretty well. The track changed throughout the day and we can do a better job with that, but we’re not used to running that well here, so we can be excused for one mistake.”
Edwards and the No. 99 team remain 14th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. The next race will be Sunday, November 4 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.